The Weekly Q&A: Ask Way of Life™ Dog Training
Min Pin Getting Us in Trouble with Neighbors

AskWOL 3

Q: We have a four-year-old miniature pinscher. He barks at the neighbors and at people walking on the street. The neighbors are unhappy. Would you be able to show us how to have more control of the barking?

A: Thanks very much for reaching out to us about your min pin. You have our sympathy and support. We know firsthand the frustration of living with barking dogs and having to deal with resentment from the community.

The first thing I would advise is to understand your neighbors’ concerns and to be proactive about them. Getting neighbors on board is something I almost always recommend. Show them that you’re aware of the issue and you’re working on it. Neighbors will be more patient and tolerant if they know you’re not oblivious to the problem, you recognize that it is affecting other people, and you’re actively working to address it.

Secondly, of course the barking is problematic for you and your neighborhood. However, the Way of Life Method sees problems such as barking as symptomatic of a deeper issue. Barking simply means we have an agitated and upset dog. There are many reasons why that could be the case, including, for example, anxiety, fear, aggression, and frustration. With that said, it is important to go beyond these labels and deal with the individual dog. 

Indeed, the Way of Life Method sees behavior issues as reflecting way of life issues. Our work together therefore will involve uncovering aspects of your way of life and evaluating how they might be influencing the behavior you’re dealing with. According to the Way of Life Method, the situation involves our attitude and relationship with our dogs, how we socialize our dogs, how we manage space and boundaries in their world, and how we develop and harness their genetically inherited talents, instincts, and drives. Once the way of life is addressed, the barking issues should subside.

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